How a thunderstorm forms Next. The sun heats the surface of the earth, which warms the air above it. Severe Thunderstorms. Some of the most violent aspects of thunderstorms … This typically occurs on a warm summer’s day when the longer hours of sunshine have heated the ground. Thunderstorms form and die out within the storm. Cells continue to form within the clouds as the multicell storm regenerates itself. Thundersnow usually forms when layers of flat snow clouds develop instability and experience dynamic lifting. The air must be warm and moist. Storms form when warm, moisture-laden air rises rapidly into the atmosphere. Storms are fueled by heat and moisture, which is why storm activity, particularly thunderstorm activity, is greater during the summer season. Thunderstorms can form in winter, but they have different characteristics. When a thunderstorm begins to form, it does so at the cumulus stage. Start studying How does a thunderstorm form?. A trigger mechanism must cause the warm moist air to rise: Heating of the layer of air close to the surface. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. All thunderstorms start with moisture and rising warm air. From there, it advances in activity until it reaches its peak at the mature stage. If this warm surface air is forced to rise -- … The warm, moist air immediately above the ground is less dense than the cooler, … Stage 2: The warm air meets very cold air in the middle levels of the atmosphere. Rising ground forcing the air upwards (orographic uplift). A total of thirty or more cells may develop during the lifetime of a storm. As the air rises, it cools and the moisture condenses, falling back to Earth as precipitation. A typical normal thunderstorm consists of tall, narrow clouds that rise from a warm updraft leading from the surface up to around 40,000 feet. Three basic ingredients are required for a thunderstorm to form: moisture, rising unstable air (air that keeps rising when given a nudge), and a lifting mechanism to provide the "nudge." This diagram sequence shows the stages in the development of a thunderstorm: Stage 1: Warm moist air is forced upwards, forming a cumulus cloud. Cumulonimbus (Cb) (Cb) clouds, in which Thunderstorms are found, form when three conditions are met: There must be a deep layer of unstable air.